Butte County Dispatchers Evacuate but Continue to Answer-the-Call During Oroville Spillway Evacuation

October 3rd, 2017

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Being a dispatcher is stressful enough, but imagine being one when your entire county must evacuate? In this episode, Cal OES Public Information Officers Robb Mayberry and Monica Vargas chat with two dispatchers from the Butte County Sheriff’s Office about what it was like when evacuations were ordered for Butte, Sutter, and Yuba Counties this last February.

Dispatchers Jenifer Honea and Trina Valeigh speak openly about their experience and what was going through their minds during the Oroville Dam Spillway Incident. Hear how first responders and this community came together and maintained operations during a stressful time. They will share how they managed to answer the incoming calls while at the same time having to relocate an entire dispatch center, which laid in the path of possible flood waters. Get tips on how to be better prepared in case you ever have to leave your home because of the threat of an imminent disaster. Find out the one thing you should do when you move into a new community. This episode offers valuable information for those thinking about starting a career as a dispatcher and is eye-opening for even the most seasoned dispatchers.

Links 

Oroville Spillway Incident Resource Page

Oroville Spillway Incident

Oroville Spillway Incident in Pictures

Photos

  1. Kimber the Butte County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Dog
  2. From Right to Left Butte County Sheriff’s Office Dispatchers Jennifer Honea, Trina Valeigh, Cal OES PIOs Monica Vargas and Robb Mayberry
  3. Oroville Dam

 

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Captain Pace Stokes Takes the Helm on the Ghost Ship Fire

September 19th, 2017

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Captain Pace Stokes, Alameda County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, sat down with Shawn Boyd at the Alameda County Emergency Operations Center in Dublin, California. Their recording session took place on day-1 of Urban Shield. For this year’s exercise Capt. Stokes was the deputy incident commander, where he said this was the first year that CERT was actively involved in the exercise and that there was a competitive element to their training. Capt. Stokes also talks about what helps him manage a large-scale training exercise like Urban Shield (there were 63 sites across five counties involved,) and about the ghost ship warehouse fire that killed 36 people on December 2, 2016 in Oakland.

Links

Alameda County Sheriff

Alameda County OES

Urban Shield

Cal OES Video Blog on Urban Shield and CERT

 

 

 

 

 

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Public Information Officers: Old Dogs, New Tricks

August 22nd, 2017

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Right to left: John Larimore, Shawn Boyd, Adria Wells, Monica Vargas

Press releases are starting to become a thing of the past, while podcasts, videos and infographics are becoming the future. Why? Information overload, smartphones and packed schedules (among many other reasons) is nudging traditional communications to adapt and change the way information is packaged and shared. Now don’t get it wrong, press releases have their place – but there is always room for change, especially when it comes to serving the public and providing information efficiently.     

In this episode, we chat with the Cal OES team about some of the new and improved ways of doing things as a team. Monica Vargas, Shawn Boyd, John Larimore, and Adria Wells share their experience, insight from the perspective of the PIO, graphic designer and videographer.  

Links

OES Newsroom

Cal OES Inside Look: Mutual Aid

Cal OES Quick Look: Early Earthquake Warning

We’re on Instagram!

More about Cal OES

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Pyrocumulus Clouds, The Six P’s and Safety on the Modoc July Complex Fire

August 8th, 2017

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Battalion Chief Dave Welch

Dave Welch is a 24 year veteran of the Rohnert Park Police Department (Department of Public Safety) and has been with Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District in Sonoma County where he’s currently a part time battalion chief. He’s serving as a Type I and Type II safety officer on the Modoc July Complex fire in Modoc County, California.

 

Links

Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District

Modoc July Complex on InciWeb

Levels and Types of ICS Management

 

Type 5: (very small wildland fire only)

• Initial attack

• Short duration, seldom lasting into the next burn period

• Few resources assigned (generally less than 6 people)

• Little complexity

Type 4

• Initial attack or first response to an incident

• IC is “hands on” leader and performs all functions of Operations, Logistics, Planning, and Finance

• Few resources are used (several individuals or a single strike team)

• Normally limited to one operational period

• Does not require a written Incident Action Plan (IAP)

• Examples: Search & Rescue (SAR), motor vehicle accidents, small fires

Type 3

• Extended initial attack on wildland fires

• IC walks the line between a manager and a 'doer'

• Resources may vary from several single resources to several task forces or strike teams

• Some Command/General Staff positions (ie, Division Supervisor, Unit Leader), may be filled

• May extend into another operational period (12 hours), and require an IAP

• Examples: Larger SAR’s, law enforcement incidents, special events, technical rescues, fires

Type 2

• IC spends all time being a manager

• Most Command and General staff positions are filled

• Large number of resources utilized

• Incident extends into multiple operational periods

• Base camp(s) established

• Significant logistical support is required

• Examples: Major fires, VIP visits, lengthy search and rescues, law enforcement incidents, multi-day special events

Type 1

• All functions are filled, plus leaders, branches etc.

• Multi-agency and national resources

• Large number of personnel and equipment are assigned to the incident

• It is a large, complex incident

• Examples: A major Incident—hurricanes, very large fires, natural disasters

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Large Scale Disaster Management with Bob Fenton (encore presentation)

July 18th, 2017

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Imagine this situation — the first time you visit New York City it just happens to be on 9/11. The second time you visit is during Hurricane Sandy, and the third time, would you even go back? The man we’re going to talk to today experienced that string of disasters and suddenly found himself leading the initial emergency response to those historical events. He’s a UC Davis alum and 5th generation San Franciscan.

Robert J. Fenton, Jr. was appointed Regional Administrator for FEMA Region IX in July 2015. Since joining FEMA in 1996, Mr. Fenton has played a significant role in numerous large-scale response and recovery operations in the U.S. and has responded to more than 50 Federal disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the four Florida Hurricanes of 2004, the Southern California Wildfires of 2003 and 2007, the Super Typhoon Pongsona in Guam, and the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks.

Links

FEMA's Mobile App

Urban Search and Rescue 

FEMA Region IX: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, & the Pacific Islands

 

 

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Lake Tahoe’s Angora Fire Commemorated with 10 Year Anniversary

June 27th, 2017

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In this episode we travel to South Lake Tahoe to talk with Chief Tim Alameda of the Lake Valley Fire District. We caught up with him days before they commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Angora Fire.

According to an article in the Lake Tahoe News published September 13, 2016, "Alameda was a division chief and the fire marshal for North Tahoe Fire Protection District prior to joining the LVFD in 2016.

Alameda got his start as a firefighter reserve in Meyers in the 1980s. At that time is was a joint program between Lake Valley and South Lake Tahoe fire departments.

Starting in 1984 he spent 27 years with Reno Fire Department. He went from a rank and file firefighter to the chief.

In 2011, Alameda retired from Reno. North Tahoe recruited him to be a fire marshal. He took this job seriously – spending many a day walking around his jurisdiction, into businesses and talking to people. He was seeing where the hazards were, listened to concerns and helped educate people.

He rose to division chief and then took over Meeks Bay.

Those in the fire community call Alameda a true professional, forward thinker and good with personnel. Until the ink is dry, people were hesitant to go on the record about Alameda. The same goes for his current boss, Mike Schwartz.

Wildland fires are something Alameda is well aware of. He was president in 2015 of the Lake Tahoe Basin Fire Chief’s Association. The wildland urban interface is a constant issue for fire agencies when it comes to protecting the community from a blaze that starts in the forest.

While he didn’t lose a structure during the Angora Fire, a house he and his dad built on Boulder Mountain was destroyed.

Those 254 houses that burned in 2007 were part of that wildland urban interface.

As a kid, he spent many summer days fishing at Angora Lakes or hunting grouse in the area."

To read the entire article click here.

Links

Angora Fire Data

The Angora Fire 10 Years Later: What have we learned? Field Trip & Symposium

Angora Fire Lessons Learned

Angora Fire Restoration Project

 

 

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The Age of Massive Data Breaches

June 6th, 2017

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Cal OES Cyber Guys

From Left to Right in Photo:

ELI OWEN, Deputy Commander, California State Threat Assessment Center

THOR EDEN, California Cyber Security Integration Center

MICHAEL CREWS, Cal OES Information Security Officer

 

For this episode we brought three of California’s cyber security gurus who talk about some of things you and your agency/company can and should be doing to protect yourself from cybercrime.  October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month which is an annual campaign to raise awareness about cybersecurity, but any month, any day is a good day to beef up your own personal protection. We live in a world that is more connected than ever before. The Internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life, whether we realize it or not. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to raise awareness about cybersecurity, provide them with tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and increase the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident. (Source: Dept. of Homeland Security)

California Cybersecurity Integration Center’s (CalCSIC) mission is to reduce the likelihood and severity of cyber incidents that may significantly compromise the security and resilience of California’s economy, its critical infrastructure, and information resources. Cal OES executes this mission together with CDT, CHP and CMD. Cal-CSIC is comprised of two key functional components: (1) cyber threat analysis; and, (2) dissemination and coordination of incident response and recovery operations (hereinafter “recovery”). Specifically, Cal-CSIC coordinates the identification, prevention or mitigation of cyber threats, as well as coordinates the response to, and recovery from significant cyber incidents. Cal-CSIC coordinates the production of threat assessments for the State, and facilitates analysis and exchange of cyber threat information with all affected organizations.

Terms Used:

Cyber Crime – Crime conducted via the Internet or some other computer network

APT – Advanced Persistent Threat

Social Engineering –  a line of attack that relies heavily on human interaction and often involves tricking people into breaking normal security procedures. (Source: TechTarget)

Spycraft – (aka Tradecraft) Within the intelligence community, this refers to the techniques, methods and technologies used in modern espionage (spying) and generally, as part of the activity of intelligence.

Polymorphic – Polymorphic malware is harmful, destructive or intrusive computer software such as a virus, worm, Trojan or spyware that constantly changes ("morphs"), making it difficult to detect with anti-malware programs. Evolution of the malicious code can occur in a variety of ways such as filename changes, compression and encryption with variable keys. (Source: TechTarget)

Spear phishing – An email that appears to be from an individual or business that you know. But it isn't. It's from the same criminal hackers who want your credit card and bank account numbers, passwords, and the financial information on your PC.

Ransomware – There are different types of ransomware. However, all of them will prevent you from using your PC normally, and they will all ask you to do something before you can use your PC. They can target any PC users, whether it’s a home computer, endpoints in an enterprise network, or servers used by a government agency or healthcare provider.

Ransomware can:

Prevent you from accessing your computer.

Encrypt files so you can't use them.

Stop certain apps from running (like your web browser).

Ransomware will demand that you pay money (a “ransom”) to get access to your PC or files. We have also seen them make you complete surveys.

There is no guarantee that paying the fine or doing what the ransomware tells you will give access to your PC or files again. (Source: Microsoft)

Links:

Cal-CSIC Announcement

https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=19083

For more information on partnering with Cal-CSIC

state.cybersecurity@caloes.ca.gov

Cal OES Cal-CSIC

http://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/law-enforcement/california-cybersecurity-integration-center

IT Peer Network Article

https://itpeernetwork.intel.com/california-to-establish-a-cybersecurity-integration-center/

Stop Think Connect

www.stopthinkconnect.org

Interpol

www.NoMoreRansom.org

Ransomware Help

www.NoMoreRansom.org

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What We’ve Learned from Our First Year of Podcasting Can Benefit You

May 23rd, 2017

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ShawnBoydPortrait.jpg

In this episode of the All Hazards podcast Cal OES Deputy Director Kelly Huston takes over the mic and interviews host Shawn Boyd. At almost 30 episodes Mr. Huston thought this would be a good time to grill Mr. Boyd about what this foray into the podcasting world has taught us. The Cal OES Office of Public Information employs what’s called “multi-modal communications” to get our messaging out to stakeholders and the public. So launching our own podcast seemed to be a logical avenue but one that would also be a test of the platform for our needs.

So treat this episode, #29, as a learning tool for you if you’re considering producing a podcast in your own communications office. Depending on what you hear you may want to dive right in, or swim for your life. Either way we hope it’s helpful.

IMG_0014.jpg

 Kelly Huston Engineers Mark Ghilarducci's Interview

 

Shawn Boyd joined state service and Cal OES in May, 2014 and is a veteran TV news journalist, spending 20 years in local news as an Edward R. Murrow winning anchor/reporter, and executive producer. He’s a graduate of Cal State University Sacramento in media communications.

Links

Podcast Answer Man

The Cliff Ravenscraft Show | Learn How To Podcast | Online Business and Social Media Marketing Tips From The Podcast Answer Man

The Podcasters' Studio

RayOrtega.com

Ray's Gear List

Cliff's Gear List

 

 

 

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Going Nuclear with Cal OES’s Radiological Preparedness Unit

May 9th, 2017

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In this episode (28) we talk with Bill Potter, Senior Emergency Services Coordinator for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. He’s been with Cal OES for 15 years, all with the Radiological Preparedness Unit as lead for the Nuclear Power Plant program.

In 1979, following the accident at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, the California State Legislature mandated that the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), together with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and affected counties, investigate the consequences of a serious nuclear power plant accident. Based on site-specific studies in 1980, Emergency Planning Zones (EPZ) around the plant sites were established in detail and integrated plans were developed. Legislation mandating the NPP program has been continuous since 1979, enacted as Government Code and Health and Safety Code sections, called the Radiation Protection Act.

The Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Program covers emergency planning issues related to the State’s one operating nuclear power plant – Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP). The NPP program also continues coordination with one decommissioning nuclear power plant - San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and two retired nuclear power plants - Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power Plant and Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. The NPP program works with federal, state, local and utility officials in emergency planning, training and exercises to test emergency readiness. Together, through these combined preparedness efforts, the State of California provides reasonable assurance that appropriate measures can be taken to protect the health and safety of the public in the event of a radiological emergency at a nuclear power plant.

Prior to coming joining Cal OES Potter spent 20 years in the US Air Force attached to many units including AFTAC, Nuclear Detection, Collection, and Analysis. He was a seismic systems maintenance technician, Airborne Scientific Laboratory Technician (SEO), DLI Arabic Language grad, and RSO at McClellan Central Lab.

Links

Cal OES NPP Program

 

 

 

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Knowing Before Feeling the Shake, Rattle and Roll of an Earthquake

April 11th, 2017

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This is Episode 27 and today’s is Earthquake Early Warning Deputy Director of Planning, Preparedness and Prevention, Tina Curry talks about Earthquake Early Warning. As the Deputy Director of Planning, Preparedness and Prevention, Tina Curry oversees the Cal OES Earthquake and Tsunami program.

The Cal OES Planning and Preparedness Branch develops and maintains state-level emergency plans and guidance that engage the whole community by using an all-hazards planning process that represents the actual stakeholders from the community, both local and state government leaders, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector.

This branch also includes the Earthquake Early Warning Division and Tina explains in this episode the benefits EEW will bring to the state. She also describes where we are in the process of having a functional system, how much it will cost, and how warnings will be delivered to the public.

Links

Cal OES Planning & Preparedness

Cal OES Earthquake Early Warning Legislation

California Earthquake Early Warning System

Cal OES Earthquake Program

USGS: Latest Earthquakes

Earthquake Early Warning

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tsunami Preparedness - Saving Lives and Protecting Property

March 28th, 2017

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Ryan Arba is the branch chief for the Cal OES Earthquake and Tsunami Program.   In this episode, Ryan talks about the program, its federal partner NOAA and the focus of this year’s Tsunami Preparedness Week events. 

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Earthquake, Tsunami and Volcano Program is continuously researching, learning, and collaborating with science, industry, and academic experts to develop and confirm the latest, best available knowledge base to help make California’s residents and visitors safer in the event of tsunamic activity. By mapping potential inundation and evacuation areas, providing assistance in response and evacuation planning, implementing outreach, education and warning signage at the coast, as well as determining ways to improve preparedness and resilience of California’s ports and harbors, our staff strives to ensure everyone on the coast remains safe before, during and after the next tsunami.

Catastrophic tsunamis are rare, we may have a tendency to get complacent and think that one will never happen while we’re at the beach. However, every coastline in the world is vulnerable to a tsunami. Although a tsunami cannot be prevented, you can diminish adverse impacts through community preparedness, timely warnings and effective response.​​​
 
​California’s 2017 Tsunami Preparedness Week is March 27-31. On March 29, Cal OES, the California Geological Survey (CGS) and the NWS will conduct a conference call with emergency managers from counties along the coast to test several aspects of the tsunami response, including the ability of the National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC) to send and coast emergency organizations to receive specific tsunami alert messages.
 
During the conference call, representatives from the NTWC, Cal OES and CGS will also test their ability to accurately calculate and verify information contained in draft Tsunami Evacuation Playbooks that will be used by local emergency to determine if an evacuation is necessary and, if show, for how big of an area. The test also allows emergency managers from coastal communities to confirm their ability to receive playbook-related information, test their ability to make decisions regarding evacuation, and as well as to test their abilities to communicate information to port and harbor officials as well as to test their reverse notification and other warning systems reaching people in coastal hazard areas.

Links 

http://www.caloes.ca.gov/ICESite/Pages/National-Tsunami-Preparedness-Week.aspx

http://www.caloes.ca.gov/Cal-OES-Divisions/Earthquake-Tsunami-Volcano-Programs

http://www.tsunamizone.org/

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Just Push Publish and Other Great Government Podcasting Advice From Ray Ortega

March 14th, 2017

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Guest: Ray Ortega; ThePodcastersStudio.com; RayOrtega.com;

Ray Ortega is the host of The Podcasters’ Studio and Podcasters’ Roundtable … both shows are podcasts about podcasting.

He launched his first podcast in 2007 which was called Produce Picker Podcast.

In 2009, he created The Podcasters’ Studio to share what he had learned while producing his first podcast and to teach himself audio-only podcast production.  Podcasting quickly became a full-time hobby and eventually his job – more accurately, his dream job.

In this episode of All Hazards we’re going to talk about podcasting in general, podcasting in the government sector and how it might fit in with your office’s public outreach messaging.  We’ll offer some tips to get you started if you think your audience might want to listen to what you have to say, how you might improve your existing podcast, and what some of the trends are in podcasting.

Twitter: @PodcastHelper

"YouTuber" at http://youtube.com/rayortega 

 

 

 

 

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Cal OES PIOs Talk Disaster Experience, Relationships and More in Team Chat

January 31st, 2017

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 What does a typical day on the job look like for Cal OES public information officer? Well, the answer to that is – there is no typical day. One thing you can count on is that it’s likely there won’t be a press release in draft mode; only for special occasions are press releases written. More often than not, our PIOs are busy creating more engaging forms of communication, from short and longer form videos, to daily blogs to podcasts and social media. Our PIOs also get their hands dirty to get the public and stakeholders the information they need in a more interesting way. They travel by 4-wheel drive, Snow Cat, helicopter and any other mode of transportation to take you to the story and the story makers, and give you the best access for the best perspective. It’s all about transparency and proof of performance and readiness for the tax dollars invested.

So, in this episode, three of our PIOs sit down to talk about what it’s like to be a few of the faces and voices for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Monica Vargas, Robb Mayberry and Jon Gudel have all been involved in a wide range of missions and assignments for Cal OES and are here to share their stories, lessons and tips, all valuable information whether you’re a PIO or not.

Links

http://www.oesnews.com/

http://caloes.ca.gov/Cal-OES-Divisions/News-Media

https://www.youtube.com/user/CalEMATV

https://www.flickr.com/photos/calemaphotos/

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Taylor-Made to Advocate for People with Access & Functional Needs

January 16th, 2017

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In this, the 23rd, episode we sit down with Luis “Vance” Taylor, who is the Chief of the Office of Access and Functional Needs at the Governor's Office of Emergency Services. He is a person who has not let Muscular Dystrophy or his limited mobility slow him down in his personal or professional worlds. You will find out how his determination, experience and mom’s words of wisdom has helped him excel in the world of emergency management.

As chief of the OAFN Vance is responsible for ensuring the needs of individuals with disabilities and persons with access and functional needs are identified before, during and after a disaster and then integrated within the state’s emergency management systems.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Vance was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy as a child and uses a power chair. He has worked in Washington, D.C. as an advisor for two different members of Congress, directed security policy at a national association and been a principal at a top-ranked homeland security and emergency management consulting firm, Catalyst Partners, LLC. Vance is a nationally recognized public speaker and advocate for individuals with disabilities.

Vance has a Master's degree in homeland security from the University of Connecticut and an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in communications. He is married to his sweetheart, Casey, and they have two beautiful daughters, Isabelle and Sammy.

Vance and his family live in Rancho Cordova, CA.

Links

Access & Functional Needs

OAFN Web Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Keeping the Deck “STAC-ed” Against Threats in California

December 13th, 2016

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This episode brings us to the topic of homeland security in California. The State Threat Assessment System (STAS) describes its mission as Protecting society through shared information and communication. It fosters a collaborative effort to enhance the reporting, tracking, analysis, and assessment of criminal threat information and suspicious activity, produces and shares timely and actionable homeland security information, and enhances the safety of the citizens of California, while rigorously protecting their privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.

We sit down with Maria Gomez, who is a strategic analyst team manager with the STAC, the State Threat Assessment Center, which is part of the STAS.

STAC
http://www.caloes.ca.gov/cal-oes-divisions/state-threat-assessment-center

STAS
https://calstas.org/default.aspx/MenuItemID/168/MenuGroup/CALSTAS+Home.htm

Fusion Centers
https://www.dhs.gov/fusion-center-success-stories

 

 

 

 

 

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FEMA’s Kelly Hudson: Facilitating Unity Between the States and the Feds

December 6th, 2016

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Kelly Hudson at the Pu'u O'o lava flow

Kelly Hudson is an external affairs officers with FEMA, and is based in Region IX, Oakland, California. She’s worked for FEMA for 12 years, with ten of those in Region IX.

In this episode (#21) she reflects on the many major disasters she’s worked and talks about the challenges of each and lessons learned. She was still a newbie when Hurricane Katrina hit and was dispatched to help with communications as on-scene public information officer. She and her team were escorted by armed guards due to the dangerous nature of angry and desperate locals. She also candidly discusses how, in her eagerness, she got ahead of the messaging curve and told the media too much too soon; that’s a lesson she urges anyone who deals with the media to remember. Kelly also shares her own ways of surviving the chaos of hectic disaster responses, and how it’s important to take care of “Number-1.”

 

 

 

Kelly’s list of major disaster responses are impressive:

External Affairs Officer, Wildfires, Northern California (2015)

External Affairs Officer, Pu'u 'O'O Lava Flow, Hawaii (2014)

External Affairs Officer, Tropical Storm Iselle, Hawaii (2014)

External Affairs Officer, Tropical Storm Halong, Guam (2014)

External Affairs Officer, Severe Storms, American Samoa (2014)

External Affairs Officer, Hurricane Irene (2011)

Deputy External Affairs Officer, Joplin, Mo. tornado (2011)

External Affairs Liaison, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (2010)

External Affairs Lead, Tsunami and flooding, American Samoa (2009)

Assistant External Affairs Officer, North Dakota floods (2009)

Deputy External Affairs Officer, Hurricane Ike (2008)

External Affairs Officer, Southern California wildfires (2008)

Executive Officer, Southern California wildfires (2007)

News Desk Lead/Public Information Officer, Hurricane Katrina (2005)

Researcher and Writer/Public Information Officer, New Jersey floods (2005)

Researcher and Writer, Hurricane Ivan (2004)

 

Links

FEMA Region IX

FEMA Region IX Leadership

Pu'u O'o Lava Flow

Pahoa

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Radiation Ready and Zealous with Zika in SLO

November 22nd, 2016

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Episode 20 was recorded on the road in San Luis Obispo during the 2016 Ingestion Pathway Exercises, a multi-day testing of state and local counties by FEMA for nuclear incidents at Diablo Canyon. We talk with Dr. Penny Borenstein, the Health Officer for the County of San Luis Obispo.  She talks about how her health department and others might get involved in nuclear incidents immediately following a radiation breach. She also talks about other hot topics in SLO such as antibiotic resistance, secondary hospital-based infections, Zika virus, Valley Fever, drought, and West Nile virus.

In her position, Dr. Borenstein has been a staunch advocate for advancing the public’s health through disease control programs, health education, access to health care, and policy development. One of her first initiatives was a departmental reorganization which resulted in formation of two new divisions – Health Promotion and Health Care Services. The Health Promotion Division created a unified focus on population-based prevention. Staffed primarily at the outset with a small number of health educators and nutritionists working in Tobacco Control, WIC and Childhood Obesity Prevention, the unit now also has programs in Oral Health and Injury Prevention. The division also works extensively on community health improvement through a range of policy initiatives aimed at food systems, climate change, the built environment, and air quality.

Prior to moving to California in 2008, she held several public health leadership positions in the Mid-Atlantic region, and was the founder and Executive Director of Baltimore HealthCare Access, Inc., a non- profit agency devoted to assuring access to health care services for low income persons and special populations. A native New Yorker, Dr. Borenstein received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and her medical degree from the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse. She received her pediatrics training at the University of Connecticut in Hartford and a Master’s Degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

 

Links

http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/health/publichealth.htm

https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/how-the-system-works/diablo-canyon-power-plant/diablo-canyon-power-plant.page

https://www.cdc.gov/zika/

http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/community/about/antibiotic-resistance-faqs.html

 

 

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Preparing for Diablo: The Devil’s in the Details

November 8th, 2016

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SLO_LakeCachumaLL_0382.jpg

For Episode #19, we traveled to San Luis Obispo County, the home to Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, where Cal OES as well as many other local, state, and federal agencies were participating in a radiological training exercise.  These types of exercises are held every two years and evaluated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The exercises assist in the development of emergency response plans to ensure that the health and safety of the public is protected in the event of a radiological incident. 

Today’s podcast features Ron Alsop, the Emergency Services Manager for San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services (OES). He has been with the county’s OES for 26 years and was previously with Cal Fire for three years. He talks about the importance of having full scales exercises and the unique challenges faced by this region.

Ron also discusses how educating the community about the nuclear power plant and how the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system can assist in the event o fan emergency. He also shares an example how controlling rumors is critical during an incident, especially in this day of social media. He concludes with advice to those responsible for delivering information to the public and how transparency can help build trust.

In addition to ongoing preparedness work that includes nuclear power plant emergency readiness, Ron’s experience includes responding to incidents such as large fires throughout the state, the 6.5 San Simeon earthquake in 2003 in San Luis Obispo County, winter storms, commercial aircraft incidents, including the 2000 Alaska Airlines incident off of Ventura County,hazardous material incidents and he provided Emergency Manager’s Mutual Aid(EMMA) assistance to Cal OES in after the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Ron served on the California statewide committee that developed the initial EMMA plan and on a statewide task force related to initial Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) implementation. Ron is a past chair of the California Operational Area Coalition, which is a coalition of California’s 58 county emergency managers and a former member of the California Association of Public Information Officials.

DiabloCanyonNukePlant.jpg

Links to additional information or resources:

Cal OES

San Luis Obispo County

San LuisObispo County Office of Emergency Services

DiabloCanyon Nuclear Power Plant

Wireless EmergencyAlerts or WEA

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The Challenge is People, The Reward is People

October 25th, 2016

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This episode (#18) Cal OES Deputy Chief Paul Tassone sits down at the mic with us. Chief Tassone is going on his 34th year in law enforcement, and his 6th with Cal OES. His career began with a tour of duty in Air Force when he got out of high school. While in he received medical training and when he got out he began working as an EMT2 while going back to school. It was during that time he became interested in law enforcement. He attended the Sacramento Sheriff’s Academy in 1982 and spent the next couple of decades working his way up through the ranks, working closely with emergency management, until landing at Cal OES in 2011. He’s now deputy chief, administration. A self-proclaimed adrenalin junky, he loves working with emergency services and the people in that community.

Chief Tassone talks about how much he relies on technology and is especially impressed by modern mapping systems and their use during search and rescue missions – satellite trackers and real-time feeds from air to ground to help direct crews with pinpoint accuracy even at night. To see an example of that technology, click this link to watch a story that also includes night vision goggles and helicopter demonstrations (the monitoring is at the end of the video.)

Links

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Cal OES Cyber Guys’ Protection Advice for October as Cyber Security Awareness Month

October 11th, 2016

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From Left to Right in Photo:

ELI OWEN, Deputy Commander, California State Threat Assessment Center

THOR EDENS, California Cyber Security Integration Center

MICHAEL CREWS, Cal OES Information Security Officer

For this episode we brought three of California’s cybersecurity gurus who talk about some of things you and your agency/company can and should be doing to protect yourself from cybercrime. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month which is an annual campaign to raise awareness about cybersecurity, but any month, any day is a good time to beef up your own personal protection. We live in a world that is more connected than ever before. The Internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life, whether we realize it or not. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to raise awareness about cybersecurity, provide them with tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and increase the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident. (Source: Dept. of Homeland Security)

California Cybersecurity Integration Center’s (CalCSIC) mission is to reduce the likelihood and severity of cyber incidents that may significantly compromise the security and resilience of California’s economy, its critical infrastructure,and information resources. Cal OES executes this mission together with CDT, CHP and CMD. Cal-CSIC is comprised of two key functional components: (1) cyberthreat analysis; and, (2) dissemination and coordination of incident response and recovery operations (hereinafter “recovery”). Specifically, Cal-CSIC coordinates the identification, prevention or mitigation of cyber threats, as well as coordinates the response to, and recovery from significant cyber incidents. Cal-CSIC coordinates the production of threat assessments for theState, and facilitates analysis and exchange of cyber threat information with all affected organizations.

Terms Used:

Cyber Crime – Crime conducted via the Internet or someother computer network

APT – Advanced Persistent Threat

Social Engineering –  A line of attack that relies heavily on humaninteraction and often involves tricking people into breaking normal securityprocedures. (Source: TechTarget)

Spycraft – (aka Tradecraft) Within the intelligencecommunity, this refers to the techniques, methods and technologies used inmodern espionage (spying) and generally, as part of the activity ofintelligence.

Polymorphic – Polymorphic malware is harmful, destructiveor intrusive computer software such as a virus, worm, Trojan or spyware thatconstantly changes ("morphs"), making it difficult to detect withanti-malware programs. Evolution of the malicious code can occur in a varietyof ways such as filename changes, compression and encryption with variablekeys. (Source: TechTarget)

Spear phishing – An email that appears to be from anindividual or business that you know. But it isn't. It's from the same criminalhackers who want your credit card and bank account numbers, passwords, and thefinancial information on your PC.

Ransomware – There are different types of ransomware.However, all of them will prevent you from using your PC normally, and theywill all ask you to do something before you can use your PC. They can targetany PC users, whether it’s a home computer, endpoints in an enterprise network,or servers used by a government agency or healthcare provider.

Ransomware can:

  • Prevent you from accessing your computer.
  • Encrypt files so you can't use them.
  • Stop certain apps from running (like your web browser).
  • Ransomware will demand that you pay money (a “ransom”) toget access to your PC or files. We have also seen them make you completesurveys.
  • There is no guarantee that paying the fine or doing whatthe ransomware tells you will give access to your PC or files again. (Source:Microsoft) 

Links:

Stop Think Connect

www.stopthinkconnect.org 

Interpol

www.NoMoreRansom.org

Ransomware Help

www.NoMoreRansom.org

CalCSIC Announcement

https://www.gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=19083

https://itpeernetwork.intel.com/california-to-establish-a-cybersecurity-integration-center/

California Cyber Security 

STATE.CYBERSECURITY@CALOES.CA.GOV

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